Delegates representing close to 60 member national rowing federations were present today at the Golf Hotel in Bled. Numerous bid committees and future event organisers were also there to promote their respective venues and events. Several observers were also present. The Congress was Presided by Denis Oswald, FISA President.

The main decisions from this year’s Congress include the attribution of two major events.

The 2015 World Rowing Championships were attributed to Aiguebelette, in the Savoie Region of France. Aigubelette has held World Championships in 1997 and regularly holds national and international rowing events. The French bid had been put forward to the Congress by FISA’s Council who had identified this as the most suitable candidate to hold this event. The recommendation was ratified by 110 votes against 33 in a secret ballot. Two other candidates were in the running for this event, Strathclyde Great Britain and Varese, Italy.

The 2014 World Rowing Under 23 Championships were awarded to Varese, Italy, a beautiful natural venue in the northern Italian region of Lombardia.

Other items on the agenda included new membership of the Bahamas, Namibia, Cap Vert, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Mongolia, bringing the total number of FISA member federations to 136 National Federations.

A new Chair was elected for the FISA Athlete’s Commission. Lenka Wech from Germany, two-time World Champion in the German women’s eight, was elected to replace Jean-Christophe Rolland of France. Rolland, who raced his last international regatta at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 is no longer eligible to serve on the Athletes Commission. However, he remains on the FISA Council as a Co-opted member, which, as per Article 38 of the FISA Statutes is elected for a two year term by the Council upon proposal of the Executive Committee.

All other Council members who were up for re-election were re-elected to their positions:

* Materials Commission: Paul Fuchs (USA)
* Rowing for All Commission: Guin Batten (GBR)
* Sports Medicine Commission: Dr. Alain Lacoste (FRA)
* Youth Commission: Algirdas Raslanas (LTU)

The Congress also reviewed the two day finals at Junior & Under 23 Championships and re-launched preliminary discussion on increasing the distance of all Adaptive rowing disciplines to 2000m. The Adaptive commission and events commission presented an analysis of benefits and disadvantages of this potential change. Delegates are expected to review and comment and further proposals shall be made following the Council meeting to be held in November this year.

Delegates at the Congress selected Copenhagen, Denmark, to host FISA’s Extraordinary Congress in 2013, the year following the Olympics. Held every four years, the Extraordinary Congress is the only opportunity for alterations to FISA’s statutes and rules of racing.

Among other major event appointments announced today, the Council also announced the decision to hold the first stage of the 2013 and 2014 World Rowing Cup regatta series in Sydney, Australia. This is a big step in FISA’s global strategy to take the World Rowing Cup series out of Europe. The remaining stages of the 2013 and 2014 series shall be decided during the November Council meeting.

Tone Pahle, Chair of FISA’s Masters Commission announced that the 2014 World Rowing Masters Regatta shall be held in Ballarat, Australia.

The Congress is the annual meeting of FISA members and the occasion for FISA to present the annual reports to its member national federations. Each area of activity, including the financial report, was presented to the members as part of their Congress Agenda papers.

The next Ordinary Congress will be held on 17 August 2012 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Full agenda papers, including the reports from Council members, financial report, etc. can be found on or by clicking here.